Memories from the many years of ‘The Outdoor Recreation Show’
By Don Quilici
The Outdoor Recreation Show on Carson Access Television Channel 10 and Carson Valley Access Television Channel 26 officially went off the air last week, for the last time, after a run of many years.
To be precise, the very first program aired, live, way back on June 16, 1993 and the last show aired on Nov. 30, 2004.
In between, I had the personal pleasure of serving as the Producer, Anchor and one of the Co-Hosts of that weekly, live, one-hour television show, and every one of those hundreds and hundreds of weekly shows was special to me.
The basic concept of The Outdoor Recreation Show was quite simple but very effective: Bring the viewers all kinds of assorted guests to provide information that anyone watching would find entertaining, informative and useful.
And, if it could be done in an environment where the Co-Hosts and guests could have fun, teasing one another or light-heartedly picking on each other, the viewers would get a special bonus.
I think that we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.
With the end of that long-running show, it took with it a ton of memories for yours truly, and I would like to share a few of them with you.
Here they are:
My involvement first began on June 16, 1993 when I was asked to be a guest on a live, weekly, one-half hour show, featuring Jack Pritchard as the host.
I accepted and my guest appearance went so well, that I was invited to return the next week to join him as a Co-Host.
At the same time, the show was increased from one-half hour to a full hour in length.
I can still remember arguing that it would be impossible to have a live, talking show for one full hour.
Well, as those, who have watched through the years, can testify, it was not only possible but it was easy and fun.
A short time after the show lengthened to one hour, Mike Solgat of Douglas County joined it as a third Co-Host.
Then later, Mike and I continued the format of the show for a number of years, until he moved to the Midwest.
On his departure, my longtime friend (and one of the show’s underwriters), Jim McGee of Carson City, joined the show as a Co-Host, and we changed the name to “The Outdoor Recreation Show.”
“Jimbo” and I were Co-Hosts for nine, great years.
Through those years, Jim, his wife Elaine and I, hunted together, fished together, camped together, traveled together and vacationed together, as three very close friends.
Most impressively, in those nine years, Jim and I never, once, had a disagreement or argument over anything.
Jim McGee was a perfect friend and a perfect Co-Host until his untimely death on May 31, 2000.
Since that fateful date, there have been a number of regular Co-Hosts including: Jim Quilici (my son), Gunny Benson and Doug Busey of Douglas County and Norm Budden of Carson City.
Through the many years, there have been countless special friends who have volunteered their time and efforts to work either in the control room, on video, on audio or on the cameras.
They have included: Gary Ashby the executive director, Maurice (Mo) White, my wife Elaine, my daughter-in-law Kathi, Gary’s wife Liz, Mo’s significant other Donna, CK and Jackie and Niki Baily, Lou and Dagmar Luscome, Mike “Doc” Donovan, Scott Mercer, et al.
The Outdoor Recreation Show has featured programs such as:
Fishing in Nevada at Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe, Tonkin Reservoir, Topaz Lake and Walker Lake.
Fishing in California at Caples Lake, Convict Lake, Frog Lake, Roosevelt and Lane Lakes, Stampede Reservoir, Lower Twin Lake, Winnemucca Lake and the Sacramento River.
Fishing in British Columbia for rainbow trout (Jim McGee, Elaine and I flew into a remote lake on a float plane).
Salt water fishing in Alaska for huge Halibut and King Salmon.
Backpacking in the Desolation, Hoover and John Muir Wilderness Areas.
Visiting Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley in Alaska.
Visiting Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Bali, Indonesia.
Hunting in Nevada for Antelope, Mule Deer and Rocky Mt. Goat.
Photographing wildflowers on the Winnemucca Lake Trail.
Pack horse trips with both the Leavitt Meadows Pack Station and the Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit.
The huge annual Kids Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville.
Fundraisers for Carson Valley Chukar Club, Mule Deer Foundation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Sportsmen’s clubs such as the Carson Fly Fishing Club, Clear Creek Bowmen, Ormsby Sportsmen’s Association and Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders.
Government agencies, including Carson City Parks and Recreation, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Department of Wildlife, BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.
The winter sports of Ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
And many others such as Nevada’s computerized system for big game hunting tags, the Tahoe Rim Trail, fire danger, the U.S. Coast Guard at Lake Tahoe, sport and fly fishing guides, “Snake Break” training for dogs, and on and on.
Some of the more unusual things that occurred throughout the years included:
The guest from Susanville, Calif, who called the night of the show from the phone at the Carson City Library for directions to reach the studio and who was then a “No Show.”
Reluctantly having to pet a huge, live rattlesnake (complete with fangs!) being held by a professional snake handler.
Having the fake fire place fall down on my head during one of the shows.
Having Elaine faint and fall down with Camera No. 3 during the show due to the extreme summer heat in the studio.
And, then I would be remiss if I didn’t say a very sincere “Thank You” to each and every one of the countless viewers who faithfully watched our show every week through those many years of that special TV show.
It was a “ton of fun” and you, the viewers, helped make it all happen.
Thanks for the memories.
n Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
That he can’t tell you which guest traveled the farthest to be on our show.
If he grins and says, “It was Archie Steele of Dunkeld in Perthshire, Scotland,” he wins the brass ring!
Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.